Craft Relief Update


Hi all,

The donation emails just keep rolling in. Thanks so much for all of your support. I am looking forward to receiving everything shortly so we can get more products up on the site.

I have decided that we should also be supporting the poor Victorian families who have been affect by floods also. If anyone would like to donate goods with the money going to the Red Cross Victorian Floods Appeal then please email craftrelief@gmail.com to find out how.

I've had a few requests for Craft Relief badge codes as well. I have the badge made up but am unsure how to actually get some coding happening! I am a bit hopeless with this so if anyone has any tips let me know!


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Craft Relief Update


Just a quick one! We are up to $272.90 in donations which is great. We've just added some beautiful jewellery by Mon Alisa Design, some more felties by Elizabeth Aspden and an awesome Aunty Cookie goods pack. There are new items being posted almost daily with donations rolling in every day and lovely people emailing everyday for details on how to donate. Its just wonderful to see how everyone is getting together to help out.

We also have a Craft Relief Facebook page which we will update with new products and the donation tally. Just search for Craft Relief in Facebook and we should pop up first!


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Update on crafty ways to support Queensland


The big clean up after the devastating floods in Queensland is now taking place and our thoughts go out to those folk in Victoria that are on flood watch.  While this happens, lovely people around Australia (and around the world via blogging) are using their crafty skills to help.

Here is a little list of some further bloggy projects that we have come across.

We are sure that there are plenty more wonderful people out there helping - so please leave a comment if you know of any other projects that should be shared.

Take care all, Ames and Tash xo

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Craft Relief Up & Running


The Craft Relief online store is up and running with its first donations ready for sale. It has been up for less than 24 hours and we've already had several sales which is amazing. There are still a couple of pages of information to be posted but its pretty much ready to go. The wonderful Michaela Stone did the design of the site, including the spiffy logo and banner so a big thanks to her for this. We've had some donations from the very friendly Ink & Spindle girls, a beautiful cushion from One Flew Over (which is already sold!!), some adorable prints and cards from Jennifer Kate, some custom made pet brooches from Sarah Clarke and a lot of other handmade goodies.

I've had a lot of emails with donations pledged so they should be on the way this week and next but we want more! Promotion of the site is underway and we are hoping for a lot more traffic in the next few weeks. If you have anything you would like to donate then please email craftrelief@gmail.com. If you know someone who might like to purchase a handmade or independant item for a good cause then please forward on the link www.craftrelief.bigcartel.com.

OH, and we've already raised over $150 so far which is split between the Premiers QLD Flood Relief Appeal and the RSPCA's QLD Flood Appeal.

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Craft for Queenslanders


There are an amazing group of people who have initiated a range of efforts to support those affected by the devastating floods in Queensland. Many of these can be found on the recent posts and links in this blog and include giveaways, auctions and the sale of items online to raise funds for flood relief. We feel touched by these displays of generosity and we are sure that many of you do too.

We live in Melbourne now but grew up in Queensland and we would like to do something to help raise funds to donate to flood relief as well. We thought that organising a collection of donated craft items to sell at a one-off craft market would compliment the fantastic collections already taking place. What do you think?

A craft market would be a terrific way to help those in Queensland as well as providing an opportunity for the craft community in Melbourne and regional Victoria to come together. It is an idea that would need the help and support of many other people. Of course, there are a number of things to do - such as collecting the crafty things, finding somewhere to hold the market and getting the word out there!

Are there any like-minded people in Melbourne that would like to assist us in organising this? Your help would be appreciated!!

If you are interested please email us at the address below:

letigrepapillon at gmail dot com

We hope to hear from people who want to help and best wishes to you all - especially if you have been affected by the floods.

Ames and Tash xo

UPDATE Monday 17/1/2011: Australia's spirit is inspiring. There are so many people out there doing wonderful things to help those that have been touched by the Queensland floods. We have had some response from crafters offering to donate their items for a market stall. However, it seems that everyone is busy and we have not heard much in terms of organising a market. Therefore, we have decided that we will not be organising one. Instead, we will be participating with existing fundraising efforts.

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More Information on Donating


I've had a couple of emails asking for more information on how and what to donate to the Craft Relief Shop which is ready to be stocked any time now!

What we want:

- handmade items including but not limited too: knitted items, stitched items, collages, jewellery, softies, cushions, embroideries, clothing and accessories, bags, purses, upcycled items, quilts etc etc
- artworks, sketches or prints of original work
- zines and other paper related items

If you have something already on hand that you have made or have time to whip something up in the next few days or so, we would really appreciate it. All you have to do then is:

1. Email craftrelief@gmail.com for the address to post the item to
2. Post the item with the following details:

  • what the item is made of
  • the selling price
  • a short description
  • which charity you would prefer the money donated to
  • your name, email and link to your website (if you have one!)
Once we receive the item, it will be photographed and posted up on the shop. We'll keep you updated along the way. If you already have photographs of the item, you can email them to craftrelief@gmail.com to speed up the process of posting items.

If you still want to help out but don't have anything to donate, forward this information onto potential crafters or buyers.

We have about 10 confirmed donations so far but we want more! Lots more!

Please comment or email if you have any questions.


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Craft Relief


Craft Relief has been founded to help raise money to be donated to two of the main QLD Flood Appeals - The QLD Flood Appeal and the RSPCA QLD Flood Appeal. The floods have devastated so many Australians and animals and it seems to be getting worse before it gets better.

What I am asking from you all is a donation. But don't open your wallet. I am asking for your time and your skill. It would be great if you could donate a handmade item to the Craft Relief Online Store that has just been created to be sold with proceeds going to the two appeals mentioned earlier. You can donate anything, as long as its handmade. Softies, purses, bags, quilts, photos, drawings, prints and more are all welcome.

100% of the sale of each item will be donated (excluding the postage fee). Donations will be made as each item is sold.

It would be great if everyone could spread the word about this little project. Whether it be to potential crafters and artists or to potential buyers.


1. Please post your items to Craft Relief HQ which is located in Sydney. I will email you the address details if your interested.
2. Please include details of:

  • what the item is made of
  • the selling price
  • a short description
  • which charity you would prefer the money donated to
  • your name, email and link to your website (if you have one!)
3. Items will be photographed and posted on the site asap.
4. When your item sells, I will email you the great news!

If you would like to be involved, please email Therese at craftrelief@gmail.com. If you have any questions or queries, please email me about those too.

I will get the ball rolling shortly by posting an item or two. I hope you all have a bit of time to help out!



AMMENDMENT - Due to restrictions on Made It's seller trading terms I can't upload other peoples handmade items onto the shop. I have created a Big Cartel store which you can find here:


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:: Queensland Floods : Ways For Crafters To Help


The devastating floods in Queensland are happening as I write. Please donate to the Flood Appeal here.

People have died and many more are missing.  The predictions are that things are going to get worse in Brisbane and Ipswich today.   More information here.

A few people have emailed me about beginning some sort of crafty relief effort via this site.  You might remember that this was the portal for lots of different projects to benefit the victims of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.

Please send me an email if you have ideas about how the craft community can work together on this : raising money or awareness, gathering donations (monetary or otherwise) or making things that may be useful to people once things dry out and are a bit clearer.

My email is meetmeatmikes at gmail dot com.

Edit :: The Handmade Help Facebook Group is here

xx Pip

Donate to Queensland Flood Appeal
Red Cross National Emergency Registration and Inquiries
Volunteer : help with the RECOVERY EFFORT
Donate to the RSPCA QLD 

LOST AND FOUND Animals : Message Board here

Other ways to help : via the ABC 
Donate items for hampers : look here
Donate to help flood-stricken pets : see here

What's happening via bloggers' efforts now ::
Make It Perfect is co-ordinating auctions to benefit those affected by the Queensland floods.  Here.
Handmade Kids and Rudy and the Dodo are holding an auction to benefit those affected.  Here.
BrisStyle are about to launch their Flood Relief Appeal campaign : check in over here
That Vintage : auctioning items on Facebook. Here
Donate and you can go in the draw for this painting
100% of all print sales TODAY (12th January) will go to the Flood Relief Effort : via Dawn Tan
You can attend Coffee Relief : in Melbourne : via 65 Degrees and The Windsor Deli
Silent Auction : lots of beautiful work by Australian artists : Here
ALL proceeds of Sophie Isobel Designs will be donated to the Flood Relief Appeal
Airdrie of Joolz Jewellery has listed lots of items here : all proceeds to the Flood Relief Appeal
This Friday $1 from every coffee sold at Windsor Deli will go to the Flood Relief Appeal.
$2 from every sale in January will go to the Flood Relief Appeal : at Materialist
Kitty Robot is auctioning items with 100% of profits going to the RSPCA QLD
Jan Mac is calling for donations of quilt blocks and quilts : she is so great, why don't you help out?
Yardage Design : donate to the Flood Relief Appeal and you might win some fabric : here
Jodie from RicRac is hosting a giveaway : cute cute cute softies to be won if you donate to the Flood Relief Appeal.  Check over here
Lili Piri is auctioning a really beautiful print here to benefit those affected by the floods.
Craft Relief has just been founded : they are seeking donations to auction.  All funds raised will go to the Flood Relief Appeal.

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From Little Things Big Things Grow


Handmade in Delicious

Wow - how successful has this wonderful community cookbook been!

We thought it was about time for a bit of an update on all the great press we have been getting. Thanks so much to all the wonderful people who have put hours and hours of their time into promoting the book - and to all the volunteers who have been packing and sending. It is so very much appreciated.

Recently Angus and Robertson in Victoria has started stocking the book on their shelves and ABC stores national have started doing the same. How amazing is that!.

We have also received recent press through the following:
Delicious this month
New Idea will hopefully run a notice in the issue on sale 28th December.
The Woodend Star newspaper.
Sew Mama, Sew.
The RMIT Alumni newsletter.
The Salvation Army put it in their membership magazines.
ABC Radio.

So as you can see its the word is getting around!

Thank you so much to all the people that have run information about the book - the more people who know about it the more money we will raise!

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Packing : Posting : Progress


Just popping in to let you know that last night we packed up nearly all the pre-orders for 'Homemade'. An army of helpers were on hand to peel and stick and stuff and seal and tick and lug. Thanks to everyone that offered their assistance. And golly gee, a huge good on you to Anna and Sue for edging us ahead to this point. Fantastic. Well done. Of course there are many other people working on this project. Buy the book and you can see who did what. They all deserve a big thank you.

These books will be posted out later this week. Please note that if you ordered multiple books they will arrive packed in individual envelopes (it was the most economical way to mail them!). So keep in mind that they may arrive on consecutive days - even though they will be posted together.

It's such a lovely book. What a wonderful group effort.

In other news : many car loads of handmade and re-stash donations have been delivered via Eltham and Healesville - with another big load going up in a couple of weeks. That will clear the donations we are currently holding - which is wonderful. Donations have all gone straight to the affected communities and straight into the hands of people that needed them. If you sent something, thank you very much, it has been greatly appreciated.

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Its Here!


After many months of very hard work by the wonderful team Homemade - The Handmade Recipe Book is now available!!

This is a truely international project with recipes coming from all across the world.

The PDF can now be downloaded or you can preorder your hard copy. Travel on over to the Handmade Recipe Book website and click on the order tab. Then you are away!

Once again thank you to all the wonderful people who donated their time to making this book a reality.

And most of all - thank YOU! Without all the wonderful recipes you donated this book would have come to life.

Remember - all proceeds from sales of the recipe book will be donated to the Salvation Army

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Cook Book Update


The anticipation is building...excitement is in the air...Homemade - The Handmade Help Recipe Book is nearing completion!!

The tireless efforts of all the volunteers is culminating in an amazing publication which is going to be available to you at the end of June. Busy bees are currently organising a website where you can pay for and download the book, meeting with printers and organising those final touches which will make this publication a truely community effort.

The book is going to be produced in two formats...as mentioned as a PDF available for download and as a hard copy. A large proportion of these hard copies will be given to bush fire effected residents at a special launch, with the rest being available through selected bookstores....make sure you stay tuned for more information about the launch and where to buy the Recipe Book.

By purchasing the book you will be donating directly to bush fire effected residents and therefore assisting them in rebuilding their homes and lives.

Stay tuned for more information!

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Healesville Drop and Update!


Just popping in to let you know that we drove a car-load of Handmade Help things up to Healesville yesterday. We dropped them with our Salvation Army contact, Rosemary, who distributes them directly to those that need them.

It's really making a very big difference to people. They are very touched by the fact that people have taken the time to make things for them. A lot of people are very relieved to be able to knit or stitch or crochet again. So thank you, from Rosemary and from us too. And of course huge thanks to Suzie for the bright idea that Re-Stash is!

Thank you also to Bev and Elizabeth - driving around the countryside and distributing via the Salvos in Whittlesea.

You can read about the Rainbow Comfort Pack drop here - thanks to Nikki for the heads up on Monica's hard work, and all your generous donations.

We also received a card from our lovely lady in Whittlesea - remember we bought her lots of new art supplies a month or so ago? She sent us a photo of the softie frog sitting on her new pink and green crocheted bed-spread, and a lovely letter. Thanks to those that were able to donate!

We've nearly gathered enough supplies for the Home-Schooling family - still time to donate if you can!

We also passed on a HUGE basket of yarn, patterns, sewing supplies and knitting needles, plus a quilt to a lovely lady who's currently living in Greensborough. Her case worker contacted us and arranged for the pick up. We had some really high quality things we were able to give her, so thanks so much for that!

We have another lady about to receive a huge box of long-stitch and canvas work supplies too - again through a relief effort case worker.

And of course, Homemade, the Handmade Help recipe book is full steam ahead and now has a print sponsor - more about that here - a HUGE team of people are working on that. Be sure to thank them!

Lots of people have helped in lots of ways - (esp Christie who has helped to transport and store the things that wouldn't fit at Mike's!) If you have helped, you are awesome. Thank you. It's not over yet, however!

A couple of other ways to help this week ::
Restash an Artist - Donate Money or Art Supplies
Fresh Sheets - Donate New Warm Bed Sheets

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help needed to restash an artist


Adele is an artist and art teacher who lost everything in the Callignee fires. She escaped from her burning home on foot and took refuge at a neighbour's where she helped save that home from destruction too.

Adele has replaced some of her craft materials because she needs them for teaching and entertaining her grandkids, but she feels she can't really spare the money for her own art. She is an oil painter and had an extensive collection of Art Spectrum oils, acrylics, easels, canvas boards etc. Some of her brushes were more than 30 years old.

I'd really like to help her get painting again - wouldn't you?

We don't have anything in the re-stash store to help Adele so we're asking for your help. You can either donate specialist supplies directly to Adele (PO Box 1619 Traralgon, 3844), or even better give us a cash donation so we can put the hard word on the art supply shop and get her a great deal. If you are able to donate even a few dollars she would really appreciate it. Just click on the button below to donate any amount you can to Adele's Art supplies.

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Re-stashing in Whittlesea and St Andrews with the Salvation Army


A big load of re-stash materials have been sent out with the help of the Salvation Army. Elizabeth and Bev have carted, sorted and distributed an amazing amount of stuff and will be going through another round in early June.

They were very pleased to have the donations on hand to give out when they were out and about helping fire affected families with the bottomless chores of paperwork and claims. It's great to see things making their way from our stores to the people who can really use them.

Thanks so much to donors and the many people who have worked hard to get goods flowing in the right directions - we're looking forward to more distributions in the near future!

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Comfort for littlies


Monica has done a lovely post about a Rainbow Comfort Pack drop in Eltham. Pop over to her blog to read it.

You can also read updates on Comfort Pack drops here, here and here .

If you know of a bushfire-affected community group with children in need of a little cheer and comfort, let us know.

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Cookbook Update - And A Special Announcement!


Well we are most definitely down to the short and curly end of the cookbook. Some amazing people have been donating long and hard hours to the cause. Anna, Bev and Isla have been motoring through the collation and proof reading of all the wonderful recipes donated by you. Thank you ladies.

One very very special announcement we have is that we have a printer! McPhersons Printing Company - who can be found at www.mcphersonsprinting.com.au - have kindly offered to print a small run of cookbooks that we can then sell and hand on to those affected by the fires so they can rebuild their cookbook library's. We want to extend our greatest thanks to McPhersons Printing for this generous offer and are super happy that corporate Australia is coming on board.

So never fear - your recipes are being well cared for and once they have been primped and preened will be appearing very soon on a book shelf or website near you!
xx Gilly

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packed to the rafters


Thank you everyone who has donated to the restash a crafter effort! Your generosity has filled out every possible storage nook and cranny we can find and has us sorting into the wee hours. You are all amazing!!

At this stage we have as much stuff as we can deal with so I'd like to ask you all to hold off on sending more stuff in. Keep an eye on the blog, as we'll post here from time to time when we have a specific need we can't meet, and if supplies run low we'll let you know.

The best way to help now is let us know if you know of anyone or a group from a fire affected area who might need our help on the restash front, we have so many great things to get people crafting with and we really want to see it get out there.

Thanks again.

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Kids Art And Craft Supplies Needed!


We urgently need Art and Craft supplies for a Home Schooling family who lost their home in St Andrews on Black Saturday. Perhaps you might be able to help?

Do you have any of the following items you can spare? Please send them to Mike's clearly marked 'HOME SCHOOLING FAMILY' and we will pass them on to the family's case worker. Please be sure they are marked clearly, otherwise they will go int a pile of things to be sorted and their delivery will be delayed.

  • Acrylic Paint (2L bottles were lost - but any size appreciated) - various colours, particularly primary colours
  • Artist brushes, various thickness
  • tubes of artists paint (particularly red, blue, yellow)
  • printing materials (such as rubber stamps, ink pads, ink rollers, stencils)
  • scrap materials (eg upolstery samples, or other samples, fabric remnants)
  • felt
  • wool
  • beads (wooden, chunky)
  • beads (small, jewelery style)
  • oragami paper
  • plaster
  • candle/paper/card making kits
  • specialised drawing kits
  • cut out stampers
  • sticker books
  • derwent pencils (or similar good drawing pencils)
  • art books
  • hole punch
  • glitters of various colours
  • collage materials
  • glues (craft glue / glue stick)
  • blue tac
  • highlighters
  • sticky tape
  • staples/stapler
  • puppet kit
  • coloured paper (eg small glossy coloured squares, kinder squares, craft papers, drawing paper)
  • weaving loom
  • spindles of wools/cotton
  • paint pots (kinder style) / paint stand

Thank you!

Handmade Help
C/- Meet Me at Mike's
63 Brunswick Street
Fitzroy 3065 Australia

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Handmade Horticulture


Are you a gifted horticulturalist? A greenish thumb? Even a thumb of the khaki variety.

We want you to be a part of 'Handmade Horticulture', we need local people on the ground around bushfire-effected areas. We need people who can write, take photos, organise and share their gardening knowledge. If that sounds like you, (and I bet it does!), pop over here and drop us a line.

Ta x
Image: inthemix.com.au

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Things Are Happening!


Just checking in to say that we've had two calls today from case workers helping families affected by the fires. Things are needed by people who have lost everything:

One lady desperately needs paints - anyone have any paints or painting supplies? Oils and watercolours, brushes, easel. Please?

And a home-schooling family who are needing lots of craft supplies for their kids - glitter and string and pretty tape and lovely paper and textas, acrylic paints, pens, pencils and the like. I'm thinking excellent children's books and perhaps a cd player and some stories on CD would be good too for these guys.

We will make a start on these things this week - but would love to fill these needs within 2 weeks. Can you help?

Please email us if you can.

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getting re-stash stuff out there


Just to let you all know a few more stories about getting your donations connected with the right recipients.

Thanks to some volunteer transport (thanks Kirstie) a load of stuff is making its way up to Kinglake next week for a patchworking group starting at the Kinglake Community Centre. It is great to be able to help out this new group.

If you have any fat quarters or backing or binding fabric sufficient for a whole quilt do please send it in to us. Make sure it is clearly labelled KINGLAKE PATCHWORKING GROUP - as we're having quite a job keeping the donations for re-stash a crafter sorted and stored in a way that makes getting them out easy. Your help in labeling would really be appreciated.

In other news we've been contacted by Sarah, who is coordinating some knitting groups in Kinglake and Toolangi looking for extra supplies for her group. In particular Sarah has found it really hard to get a hold of whole jumper quantities of yarn since most donated yarn has been of the oddment or recycled kind. The focus of the group is garment knitting so sourcing larger lots of new yarn is now a mission! They are especially interested in colours suitable for men's garments and any good patterns for men's garments too.

There's also a call from Sarah for machine washable 8 ply pure wool in teddy 'skin' colours (browns, greys, black, cream, beige etc) for the trauma teddy learn to knit group - single balls are OK for this one - and 3.75mm knitting needles.

We've been able to help out with a bit, but not enough, so if you have any of these things we'd love to get them! Again, please make sure they are clearly labelled - SARAH'S KNITTING GROUP so we can make sure they get tot he right place as quickly and easily as possible.

It is great to see some of the goods that have been donated reaching the right people and we look forward to forging more partnerships with people in affected communities.

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Lots of bags!


A load of beautifully-made fabric bags arrived from Queensland (organised by Dewdrop Inn in Hervey Bay), and are on their way to Monica to fill with goodies for comfort packs.

The next drop-off point is likely to be in the Bendigo area. There are 50 homeless families there and the aid agencies have contacted Monica.

So far we have lots of bags, but there is a need for COMFORT toys to put inside. Soft handmade (or new factory-made) cuddly things to appeal to any age from toddler to tween. If you can help, please contact Monica or one of the drop off points listed on her blog (including me).

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Hold the Yarn!


Thanks SO VERY MUCH to everyone that has donated knitting needles, yarn and crochet hooks too!

We have plenty of yarn and needles now, and are only in need of bulk donations of yarn (jumper quantities to be specific!) So if you can help with that - send your yarn on to us - and mark it 'JUMPER YARN' - so we can sort it more easily!

And don't worry - if your yarn is in transit now and it's a smaller quantity, we will be sure it's put to good use in these areas!

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Update - Donations Delivered


A pile of fabric, sewing supplies and some baby items were sent out to a family who are expecting a baby in a few months and lost everything in the fires. They are currently being housed in Melbourne, while they await more permanent housing. They requested some quilting supplies, and also a few things for their impending arrival.

Thanks to everyone that has donated things so far, we really appreciate it - as do families such as this! Further updates as they happen.

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Completed Auctions and Sales


Thanks so much to everyone that has sold and bought items and donated to the Red Cross and/or Wildlife Victoria. If you have not yet emailed your donation amount and details could you please do so - Include your item no, how much you donated in AUD, who you donated to and the receipt number that they will give you on your receipt. Thanks so much for everyones good efforts.

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Recipe Book Update


Hi everyone,

well we have had some very busy little beavers working away on the cook book. The main task being completed now is the collation of copyright and recipe donor information. A huge thank you goes out to Isla for her wonderful work in collating that information - trust me its enough to make your eyes square!

Editing work is continuing too thanks to Anna and Bev - again - a time consuming task, and one we very much appreciate them doing.

Other tasks on the horizon include formatting and putting it all together so it actually looks like a cook book!

Thanks again gals and we will let you know when there is more to report! Stay tuned :)

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thanks from Theresa


Theresa has sewn and knitted all her life, she's an old school crafter big time. As a young woman she worked in the garment industry in her native Italy and when she started the flower farm in Kinglake with her husband and sons she didn't stop sewing and knitting for herself and her family.

The fires destroyed not just her home, her business and her extensive store of preserves and home made produce, it also took out her studio space, sewing machines, stash and much of what she had made over many years.

Theresa considers herself lucky to have survived - her whole family were in Kinglake at the time of the fires, including her 6 year old grandson and survived by taking cover in the cellar and then the dam. She is also very happy to have found a temporary home in Kinglake until rebuilding can take place.

She wanted to pass on her thanks to Handmade Help for re-stocking her with sewing kit and knitting needles and yarn to get started on some things to keep everyone warm when the weather starts to get really cold. She was particularly delighted to find a couple of sets of DPNS just right for knitting socks, because she thought no one aside from her bothered these days. I really enjoyed talking to Theresa about her plans for jumpers and hats and I was so glad to be able to give her wool I knew she would enjoy knitting and wearing.

Like many people, Theresa didn't ask for supplies because she was sure others would need them more than her. Her daughter helped us by letting us know what kinds of things would be useful to her and it was great to know that the right things were going to the right person. If you know someone who has a need, please let us know so we can stock them up without them needing to ask.

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A Little Update - Some Donations Delivered!


Today we delivered some donations on behalf of Handmade Help....

We headed to Whittlesea with the art supplies (boxed AS Oil Paints, Turps, Brushes, Rembrandt Pastels, Sketch Pad and Canvas Board) - for a lovely lady who needed things to start painting again. We also passed on a beautiful crocheted rug and a cute softie to her. Thanks for those lovely donations, Handmade Helpers. She was so grateful and teary - and especially loved the softie. She showed us a photo album full of images of some of the HUNDRED or more paintings she lost in the fires. Her paintings are really beautiful - lots of lovely landscapes and botanical pieces too. So terribly sad that her life's work was destroyed. Thank you SO much to everyone that donated money to help us buy her paints and things. We'll be visiting again in a few weeks time to see how she's going

After Whittlesea, we drove through the hills - via Kinglake - and on to Healesville. It was a horrible, horrible eerie drive. Blackened trees, burnt out vehicles and homes destroyed all along the roadside. Signs were hung saying 'Keep Out Looters' and 'Respect Locals! No Photos!' The trees are shooting green now, from their black trunks - and new growth is dotting the forest floor - but these are tiny hopeful signs on a long, hard trek back to recovery for these towns. It was really awful up there, and I can't imagine how hard it is for the people that are living in caravans beside the devastated remains of their former homes. It was shocking and sad - and I'm an outsider. I can't imagine how it feels to be part of these communities. Australian flags were hung all over the place, a testament to the fighting spirit of these amazing people.

At Healesville we met with a lady from the Salvation Army who has started receiving requests for knitting needles, sewing kits, sewing machines and fabric. So we took a boot load of things to her. She'll be distributing it over the next couple of weeks - and then we'll do another run up to restock her.

On behalf of the team at Handmade Help, thank you for your donations. Now begins the time when people are starting to assess their losses - and your donations will be needed. We mustn't forget about the hard times these people are enduring.

Things you can do:
Donate to The Red Cross.
Send us something hand-made-with-love for someone who has very little.
Drop off some Shampoo! They need shampoo donations in Healesville (they are overloaded with conditioner!) - if you live nearby take it to the Salvation Army near the supermarket or bring it to us at Mike's.

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Spinning Wheel Donation....


Via email today - Does anyone have any ideas about anyone that would appreciate this kind donation? Huge thank you to Beryl.


I got your name etc from an e-mail- ANHLC update no 8 fire affected houses,and
I have a spinning wheel and equipment plus fleece that I would like to
give to a spinner who has lost all their equipment in the recent fires.
The wheel is an Ashford painted the colours of the rainbow and called the "Rainbow Wheel',and comes complete with everything needed to start spinning-except a chair, suitable for someone who already spins.
I would prefer it to go to a spinner in Gippsland as I live in Wonthaggi and could deliver it. Also there is a 4 shaft loom if a weaver has lost their loom in the fires.
As a spinner for many years I can not imagine life without my wheels and spinning- its a very theraputic occupation.
Please let me know if you can find a spinner to use the 'Rainbow Wheel'


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Re-Stash at Stiches and Craft Show


Edit - Thank you everyone - we're all organised now!

Wow - what a wonderful response... BAGS of craft materials to help restash the crafters who lost their materials in the fires.

At the moment it looks like this.... all a jumble.

I'd like to sort it into separate piles of yarn, fabric, paper etc to make it easier to distribute. If anyone would like to come and help let me know....

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A Comforting Cup Of Tea...


‘The teacups are making people smile’; they haven’t been smiling, and that’s what we want, isn’t it?’ – volunteer, Alexandra Relief Centre servicing Marysville, Taggerty, Buxton region

“Please pass on my thanks for the ‘Comforting Cup of Tea’; how blessed was I? There was a lovely ‘Willow’ cup and saucer! My absolute favourite. It’s small, special gestures like this that touch us, we who have lost all our worldly goods… May God bless you” – letter signed ‘Barbara (exMarysville)’

“I just wanted to personally thank you for the beautiful and comforting teacups. They arrived in Flowerdale and were SO needed… Please, please, please thank everyone else for what they did. On behalf of the Flowerdale community, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts” – telephone message from Dianne, co-ordinator of Flowerdale Community Hall Relief Centre.

“These are better than excellent. These are life-saving!” - the gentle, gorgeous Bob, volunteer, Alexandra Relief Centre “Thank you for my beautiful teacup. I had thought of my two special ones I had lost, but now this one is as special” - text message; Mel Giovanetti, Buxton

“My teacup is just like a little piece of heaven. Until I saw it I didn’t realise how much I needed something beautiful of my own again, thank you” - Flowerdale survivor, in conversation with Holly Craig (11).

Over one hundred and forty beautiful teacups and tea mugs have already been placed in the hands of survivors of our state’s recent and most savage bushfires. To date they have gone to Flowerdale, Yea (Strath Creek) and Alexandra (Marysville, Buxton, Taggerty), to Broadford (Clonbinane, Reedy Creek), Steele’s Creek, St Andrews and Strathewen. Over the next few weeks the aim is to take two hundred and fifty more out to the stricken areas of Kinglake, Humevale, Wandong, Narbethong, and Toolangi, and to Callignee and Koornalla in Gippsland.

It has been both confronting and a privilege to have been able to take them directly to the various relief centres where people come daily to get essential supplies. Having done so, I shall never again think the term ‘natural disaster’ adequate to describe firestorms of the kind that attacked on Black Saturday. They must have borne down terrifyingly upon people - huge, wild, ruinous creatures of cruelly supernatural strength and speed, and of vast and heedless appetite.

Great swathes of the landscape - so desolately charred and ashy – and the small, heaped ruins of human dwelling places bear testament to the extraordinary scale and ferocity of these fire events. In peoples’ exhausted faces, in the tears that spring unbidden to their eyes or lie just under their voices, one can sense the great and grievous injury the encounter has done them. And even having been to some of these areas, I struggle to comprehend how it would be to live everyday still amongst the immensity of this loss: of loved ones, friends, workmates, neighbours, children. Of farms, schools, streetscapes, and community buildings. Of pets and livestock, native wildlife, gardens and orchards and greenness. Of livelihoods, and of homes – over two thousand of them.

Could I reassure those of you who would like to gift a special teacup that these are well taken care of on their journey, and that they look so very beautiful nestled in pale blue tissue in their purpose-cut, Australian-made gift boxes, and against the lavender colour of the Twinings tea given by that company. The sign above them reads: ‘Please take the teacup that you love, thank you.’ The volunteers on the ground have loved them too, and I have seen them immediately and tenderly leading grief-stricken people to the table, and urging them choose.

The note enclosed in each teacup box, also in pale blue, reads:
Thank you for choosing this teacup. Many have been involved in bringing it to you today, so making it brimful with good wishes. The teacups are all different, and may be vintage, antique, or newly-made. But in all cases they have been purchased, or gifted from home, with the express wish of offering you some small but daily comfort. We wish you well.

Teacups can be left at: 7 Malvern Grove, North Caulfield; at 41 Finlayson Street , Malvern: at Patchwork on Central Park (148 Burke Road, East Malvern); at the office of Malvern Primary School (17 Tooronga Road, Malvern East), at Books in Print (100 Glenferrie Road, Malvern) or at Leonard Joel Auction House (333 Malvern Road, South Yarra). At each of these places you can see how pretty and inviting your teacup will look.

A copy of this letter is available in email format if you have a workplace, book group, mothers’ group or other set of people whom you think would like a chance to take part. Please email me at: Sallyanne@arkpictures(dot)com(dot)au and I will forward it to you.

Warmest regards,
Sallyanne Craig

image source

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Help This Lovely Artist Now!


Handmade Help received a call this morning from a wonderful lady who lost her Humevale home in the fires. She's now in rented accommodation not far from her previous home of 35 years. She is a painter and she has lost all of her art supplies, amongst countless other treasures. She painted on both canvas and china, exhibited regularly - and had been painting for most of her adult life.

We have coaxed out of her a list of things she is in need of: some canvas boards, some pastels (preferably Rembrandt), some oil paints (preferably AS type) and a dozen or so brushes. She is very, very keen to start painting again. We can help with that, right?

We're asking for a small donation - and then we're off to the Art Supply Store to haggle a very excellent deal. We'll be taking her things up to her later in the week - so time is of the essence. Use the button below to contribute what you can. If you'd like to discuss your donation - please email us at handmadehelp@gmail.com

You can drop any painting supplies you think will be helpful off at Mike's too. 63 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy - 9416 3724

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Make A Coat For A Displaced Doggy!


Via Email...

Hi there,

I am part of an organisation who are involved with providing relief to people affected by the recent bushfires, primarily for the domestic pets. We are doing this by providing free pet supplies (donated and purchased) and foster care for the displaced pets while their owners get back on their feet. More in depth info here:

We are based in metro Melbourne but our representatives have been doing weekly trips up to the fire zone to speak to the people on the ground and ascertaining some of their needs. It is only now that the people affected are facing the realities and hardships of rebuilding their lives.

I could go on, but I will get to the heart of the reason I am getting in touch with you:
We have had some dog coat patterns drawn up and are looking for crafty people who wish to donate their time, materials and care into making some of these dog coats. There is a real sense that people do not want to be seen as victims so this is why old, second-hand stuff is not being distributed. It is our intention to drive into the more isolated areas and give people access to these newly made coats in an understated way as possible. The nights are getting cooler and for many, their dogs are too large to fit in the caravan or tent, and have to be outdoors 24/7.

So if you think you know of people who want to contribute, please feel free to provide them with my email (feltpets@gmail.com) and I can send them a dog coat pattern (or three!) and requirements and the address to send the finished coats to. The patterns are for larger dogs, as we have had many smaller dog coats donated, but are lacking in the medium to larger dog sizes.


ps. on another bushfire fundraiser note: there is an event happening Easter Long Weekend at Masonic Hall, Cowes, Philip Island starting on the 10th of April until the 12th of April - "Artists Offering Fundraiser" - primarily felters, who have donated pieces for sale from all around the world. Info here: http://karensfeltworks.blogspot.com/2009/02/australian-bush-fire-fundraiser.html

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Auction #141 - Tote Bag


EBay : Here
Ends : 15 Mar 15:35

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Auction #140 - Shower Cap


EBay : Here
Ends : 15 Mar 16:00

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Did you offer to donate a sewing machine?


EDIT - thank you ! All sorted out! Of course we need all the sewing machines we can lay our hands on - so if there are more going begging, do let us know!

I am admitting to you all my less than perfect filing system here...

Way back at the very start of handmade help's re-stash project someone sent me an email saying they had a sewing machine to donate. I carefully filed the email away, never suspecting that in the following days I would end up with so so so many email responses that I would never be able to find it again!

I now have a group who would dearly love that machine! Five survivors have moved into a temporary house donated for their use and they are itching to get sewing as we can imagine. If you made the original offer, or have an old machine lying about the place gathering dust please let me know so I can make a whole household happy!


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Handmade Help at Stitches and Craft Show


For everyone who is planning to head on down to the Stitches and Craft show at the Melbourne show grounds this coming week, there will be a drop off point for re-stash a crafter and handmade items donations. It will be in the main exhibition hall so it will be easy to find and save a few people the trouble of either posting or delivering items to the other drop off points.

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Feedback via Kinglake...


via a Kinglake Resident today - about Handmade Horticulture:

Just a thought...

I am from Kinglake and talking about plants to some of my fellow Lakers at the relief centre when I have been helping out. There are a lot of us still living up there at the moment- in caravans, tents or sheds- and one of the things people are missing is obviously a bit of variety in colour from the grey, black and brown we see everywhere. The green is starting to poke through already helped on by the recent rain. But for some of us, to have our plants to care for and watch grow and thrive is a part of life. Having a simple thing like plants, I think, is another step towards the healing of ourselves as well as the land.

It is a great service that you are helping out from this perspective. Please be careful which plants you send up- with the land the way it is. Any sort of weedy or voracious plant will take off as there is no competition. Natives, obviously- but more specifically indigenous natives should be recommended firstly. I know that people will want to revive also, their private flower gardens and other species. And vegetable gardens and edible plants also have been destroyed (although we managed to salvage some potatoes!) Perhaps working with the local landcare group could be a good option.

The idea suggested for vouchers offered and a long term expiry is a good one. Re-establishing the gardens around houses once they are built will also be required- as in the case of my parents. But they will have to wait for maybe over a year before they can start this.

I sincerely thank all of you wonderful people for your efforts. You may not get many direct thank-you's from us in these affected areas, but please know that you are making a difference and you really are amazing.

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Auction #139 - Boys Outfit


EBay : Here
Ends : 11 Mar 16:51

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